HC Deb 04 November 2002 vol 392 cc83-4W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the overall cost of(a) benefits fraud and (b) the agencies and actions taken to discover, prevent and prosecute benefit fraud in the last year for which figures are available. [78469]

Malcolm Wicks

Our latest estimate is that around £2 billion is lost annually through benefit fraud in Great Britain.

The overall aim of the Department's anti-fraud strategy is to have a benefit system, which is secure from first claim to final payment. The implementation of this strategy means that an anti-fraud focus is integral to the work of all staff in the Department, as is dealing with the wider agenda of error and incorrectness in benefit payments. It is therefore not possible to identify separately the cost involved in tackling benefit fraud across the Department and its Agencies.